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A Hurricane Comes to Lulawissie

Updated on March 15, 2019

It’s been a short while, my friends. Our power has been restored to most of the Lulawissie River Valley, and to just about all of our township, and this allows me, through the grace of our Good Lord to bring you an update on what has transpired here since a recent hurricane came through.

For the first time in the well over 100 years of Lulawissie’s wonderfully colorful history, our township has been seriously damaged by a hurricane. We’ve had them come through in years past, but never as bad as this one was. Many of the shelter houses in Lakeshore Park were destroyed, the South End Marina has to be completely rebuilt, and our pride and joy, the Lulawissie Missy sternwheeler was nearly destroyed, but the Historical Society seems to think that it can be restored.

Many of the homes out in the county were damaged, mostly by flying debris, and falling trees. Sadly, Takeo and Toyo Ishiro’s farm, the home of the famous Lulawissie Black Ball Watermelon sustained very heavy damage, and the barn was levelled. Tak and Toyo are up in years now, and don’t know yet if they will rebuild for sure. I will have to post an update if they are able to plant their fields this spring.

Gilmore’s meat market had its windows blown out, and the loss of power to his coolers prompted his donation of several hundred pounds of meat and fish to the Catholic Church to feed to the community in this time of need.

And this brings me to another point in this article. Every community has its differences. But during times like this, it was a heart moving sight to see everyone come together to rebuild our community. All of the merchants opened up their doors to anyone that needed food and supplies (except for Fahy. He figured that if he opened up the pub to everyone, no one would get any work done! But at 5pm sharp, the doors swung open and the tired laborers slowly found their way in).

The ladies all gathered up at Our Lady of the Southern Bells Abbey and prepared huge meals for the community from the donated and gathered food. The men all worked to clean up and rebuild everything and anything that needed it. The kids rode their bikes up and down the farm roads gathering eggs and produce and what they could from the farmers. The Boy Scouts (who are also the Lions Club) kept a daily pancake breakfast going for the community. It was a wonderful thing to watch.

The Gas and Grocery, where I work, fired up the generators to keep the gas pumps going and to keep what they could cold, including the ice cream served fresh from behind the fountain.

It just seemed that despite the storm, despite the severe damage that we endured, the lack of running water, lack of electricity and the general disruption of things, we still went on “business as usual” so to speak. You see, in here in Lulawissie, “business as usual” is our day to day life, what God wills for us. This is a God fearing, God worshipping community, and we live our lives obeying His last and greatest Commandment: “Love one another as I have loved you.”

Despite the storm and the wake of havoc it left, it is still a soft, beautiful evening here in Lulawissie. As I sit at the counter at the Gas and Grocery fountain writing this piece, I am looking out over Main Street toward Fahy’s Pub. There is a line of cars pulling up in front of Fahy’s, each one driven by one of the ladies that were cooking the meals up at the Catholic church. They’ve come for their husbands to take them back to the church for supper. Normally you would hear some arguing coming from this group as they dragged their spouses from the bar, but not tonight. These men and women have worked hard, and I wouldn’t be surprised if some of those ladies didn’t come out right away.

We still have a lot of work to do here, just as many other southern communities in this area do. Our prayers go out to all of them and to all of the rescue workers that have come from all over to help restore their lives. God Bless them all.

Thanks for stopping by. Have a good evening.

© 2018 by Del Banks

Even inland, we experienced serious flood damage.
Even inland, we experienced serious flood damage.
Forty miles from the coast, homes were levelled.
Forty miles from the coast, homes were levelled.

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